3 amazing day trips from Lisbon

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I have said it over and over again I love Lisbon, Portugal. I love everything about it and I hope that we will return one day to see it again. There are so many reasons why we love Lisbon, the people, the food and the amazing scenery but until our last trip, we had not really even been out of the city much. This time we decided that we needed to some day trips from Lisbon to somewhere we have not been in the area which was Evora and we needed to revisit Sintra.

Both of the places we visited were spectacular (we had visited Sintra on our previous trip and loved it) and to add another to our list we asked our friend Marta to tell us about the amazing Cascais another of the day trips from Lisbon where we hope to visit next time.  So here are our 3 amazing day trips from Lisbon and the best part is if you don’t have a car they are all-day trips from Lisbon by train! We hope you get to see them all!

Sintra Day trip from Lisbon

Sintra is an amazing UNESCO town that has so much to see in one spot. Lisbon to Sintra is roughly a 40-minute train ride. The Lisbon to Sintra trains is a comfortable and sometimes scenic ride.  We have visited Sintra on two occasions now and I don’t think it is enough at all. We spent the whole time out there looking at our favourite thing…castles.

You see Sintra was the town where the Royals built their palaces and went during the summer months It is here that they build some of the most amazing places. If it was not the Royals out there it was the rich that liked to follow them and they didn’t mind building something amazing either. Here we talk about some of our favourite Sintra day trips places and what you should not miss on your Sintra tour.

Quinta da Regaleira

day trips from Lisbon

This amazing mansion sits in one of the largest, most stunning gardens we have ever seen and was number one on our Sintra tour last time we visited. The Regaleira Palace and its gardens are home to so many intriguing places like a gorgeous chapel, grottos that go behind small water features and guard towers that look like they are straight out of a fairy tale covered in moss.

You can have a look inside the mansion to see how the people who lived here really did have the finest things in the land or you can wander the gardens for hours looking at every beautiful place within the gardens. The one place I was desperate to see in Quinta de Regaleira was the Initiation Well. It was one of the most photographed Sintra attractions that I had seen and I wanted to see it with my own eyes. It did not let me down and it goes on the top 5 things to see in Sintra on your Sintra tour.

Pena Palace

This is one of my favourite castles ever and if you get the chance to see it on your Sintra tour it will quickly become one of yours too. Standing in the town looking up at Pena Palace as it sits high on a hill painted in the most vibrant colours you will be blown away by how spectacular it looks, that is until you get closer and you see its true magnificence. The tiles, the colours and the gardens are all just so brilliant. The architecture is a builders dream and it just gets better and better. We could have spent all day just wandering the gardens and the terraces that go all the way around the castle in the sky, looking down on the tiny town of Sintra.

day trips from Lisbon

Family Travel Tip: Just be amazed at this beautiful Palace and enjoy it! We had water and snacks up at the little cafeteria at the top and the girls loved it. It was reasonably priced there too. We got the bus up to Pena Palace as it is quite steep and then enjoyed the walk through the forest back down to catch the hop on hop off bus.

The Moorish Castle

day trips from Lisbon

Although the Moorish Castle is a ruined castle it was still one of the most amazing ones we have been to. It snakes its way along the ridge of the mountain and the views down onto Sintra are absolutely brilliant but I can tell you, you really need to put some good shoes on if you plan to walk the whole way around! The steps can be steep in sections and you can really feel the burn as you keep going up and up all the time. Once you are up to the top though you will not be sorry. It is definitely something you should do on your Sintra day trip!

Family Travel Tip: If you have little ones this may not be for them. The climb is steep in some parts and their little legs will tire easily. We climbed steps for around 45 minutes with stops for the girls and for us too, to be honest. Take extra water and some snacks. If it is a windy day be careful right up near the top, both our girls got a little freaked out at the force of the wind.

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National Palace

The National Palace in the town of Sintra and has two amazing white towers on one end of the building. The inside is amazing with so many beautiful treasures and historical pieces for you to see. The two large towers are from the kitchen within the Palace and even on the inside, they are as magnificent as they are from a distance outside. If there are only two things you can fit in on your Sintra day trip then this should be one of them. It will give you so much information about the area and it is also in town so you will be close to transport to get back to Lisbon.

Family Travel Tip: Take your time here, there is so much to see and learn. The tile work is beautiful and the gardens are stunning. It will give you a rest from the heat too if you are going to visit Sintra from Lisbon in the summer.

There is still so much to see in Sintra and I am sure there are some who will say we have missed some of the best Sintra attractions on our Sintra tour but as I said we are hoping to go back there and see so much more. Don’t miss our guide on how to get to Lisbon to Sintra

A day trip from Lisbon to Evora

Evora was such a surprise destination for us. It was one of the easiest day trips from Lisbon by train for us and took around 2 and a half hours. The train was very comfortable and there were not many people on the Lisbon to Evora train during the winter months. For our Evora day trip from Lisbon, we had looked at what the best things to do in Evora would be and we had some really interesting sites to see while on our Evora day trip.

We started the day early at the train station and we were so glad we did. We could have wandered Evora for even more time than we did as everywhere around the town was amazing. There are so many things to do in Evora but these are the top ones we think are the best to do while on your Evora day trip.

day trips from Lisbon

Roman Ruins

You can start your Evora day trip at the Temple of Diana in Evora which is an amazing sight. The temple ruins tower over the little square that they are in and they make you feel very small when you are standing right next to them. From there you can head to the Town Hall where during some excavations more Roman Ruins were found and are now on show. There is also an ancient Aqueduct in the town for you to see.

day trips from Lisbon

Bone Chapel (Capela dos Ossos)

This Bone Chapel was something I will never forget. It is located in the Royal Church of St. Francis and is known as Capela dos Ossos. All of the Chapel is ‘decorated’ with the bones of monks. You are not able to touch them or really get up close to them but it can be very confronting. When you are planning your day trip from Lisbon to Evora this should be on your list of must-sees!

Family Travel Tip: This was the second Bone Chapel the girls had visited but they found this one a little more confronting than the first due to a number of bones in the Chapel. We tried to talk to them on the train from Lisbon to Evora before we visited the Chapel to prepare them but I think you have to be prepared for any feelings or questions they may have.

Town Square and Church

Sitting in the town square and having lunch was amazing in the sunshine. Evora is a UNESCO World Heritage Town and the Town Square is beautiful. The girls loved the fountain even though it was not going due to it being winter! We also had a very fast look at the Church before the ladies kicked us out for the day. There were so many people sitting in the square enjoying the sunshine when we were on our Evora day trip. I could imagine it being so full of people in the summer enjoying lunch or a wine at the gorgeous little Evora restaurants.

Family Travel Tip: Like most town squares it is a little more expensive to eat at these Evora restaurants there than if you go a street back from it. We found a really nice place with a cheap menu on the square but this also may have been because it was winter. There were so many little, beautiful Evora restaurants that I don’t think you will have a problem finding one!

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Day trips from Lisbon – Cascais

day trips from Lisbon

Cascais is a gorgeous little town on the Portuguese Atlantic coast. Famous for being the elegant summer retreat of the European aristocracy in the XIX century and now the best beach day trip from Lisbon. Cascais is now a world-renowned golf resort and holiday destination for local and foreigners alike. Regular trains connect it to Lisbon city centre in about half an hour and make it a perfect place for both a day trip from Lisbon or a longer stay.

In Cascais, you can stroll around manicured yet atmospheric streets, have fresh fish in one of the many restaurants and of course be sunbathing on one of its beautiful, family-friendly beaches. Cascais is also famous for being the home of the ‘Boca do Inferno’ (hell’s mouth) an impressive stretch of coast where waves crash against steep cliffs.

If you have little kids, make sure you visit the local beach. It is a small but beautiful stretch of golden sand just in front of the main town square and it’s perfect for families. Locals stop here for lunch and the presence of the marina means that the waters are safer for kids than the ones of the open Atlantic beaches. A day trip to Sintra and Cascais from Lisbon is very popular

Boca de Inferno

If you feel like more dramatic landscapes, head to Boca de Inferno, just outside the town centre. This is a rugged stretch of coast where waves crash against vertical cliffs. They are powerful and beautiful, especially under the bright Portuguese light!

Finally, if you feel like stretching your legs, make sure you rent bikes and explore Cascais on two wheels! Depending on your cycling ability, you can explore the town and its museum or even get farther out on the coast: just make sure you have water with you as the sun can be strong

So there you have it! 3 amazing day trips from Lisbon and plenty of places for you to visit while you are in them! Lisbon is one of our favourite cities in the world for its beautiful people and calm nature and these 3-day trips from Lisbon are more reasons why we love it.

If you are looking for something a little longer we recommend a trip from Lisbon to Porto. If you ever do get to Lisbon please put one or more of these places on your list of places to go while you are there…we promise you will not be sorry! What will be at the top of your list for your first day trips from Lisbon?

We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Portugal and stay in Lisbon. There are so many things to do in Lisbon that will have you entertained for your stay in the city. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Portugal click through to our Portugal Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.

More travel inspiration for your trip to Portugal

Rebecca Wyld


Content Creator/SEO Editor

Co-founder and SEO editor here at Wyld Family Travel. Bec has travelled to over 45 countries across 3 continents and is a travel with kids advocate. When Bec is not planning travel, she is creating content for our family travel blog or doing local community services work. You can find all of Bec’s detailed travel guides here on Wyld Family travel and on other popular websites such as Lonely Planet.

3 amazing day trips from Lisbon

11 thoughts on “3 amazing day trips from Lisbon”

  1. I didn’t know anything about Lisbon or Portugal in general but this post really makes me want to visit. The areas you have visited look fantastic. We’re hoping to do both Spain & Portugal in one trip so I’ll definitely keep your post as a reference for when we make it there.

  2. We visited Sintra back in 2012 and I don’t know how but we missed Quinta da Regaleira. However, we did get to the Pena Palace – it was like out of a fairytale. My girls even found a little stone house in the woods that they could go inside.

  3. No way! Lisbon is so beautiful. I’ve never heard of it before but now I’m totally going to get there one day. The architecture like Pena Palace is just too mesmerizing.

  4. I love Lisbon too and I had also an amazing time at Sintra, and then Cabo di Roca. There are a lot of great places in Lisbon, I think visitor will need to stay at least a week to cover all the great attractions in the city and the outskirt area!

  5. Sintra definitely sounds amazing, I’m a big fan of Royal European history, but don’t really know much about the Portuguese story – I know Portugal was one o f the big Empires back in the day along with Spain though right. Quinta da Regaleira and Pena Palace do look like something out of a story book. Such vibrant colors from Pena Palace it looks like it’s been ripped straight from a Disney model! The Moorish Castle is giving me a Great Wall of China vibe. Such a diverse range of castles!!

    The Roman ruins at Evora and the bone chapel are something else! So many cool day trips, thanks for the detail on how to take each 🙂


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